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US, Turkey scale back visa issuing services

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The United States and Turkey have scaled back visa issuing services in each other’s countries in a deepening diplomatic row sparked by the arrest of a Turkish staffer at the American mission in Istanbul.

The American embassy in Ankara said yesterday that “recent events” forced the US government to reassess Turkey’s
“commitment” to the security of US mission services and personnel in the country.

In order to minimise the number of visitors while the assessment is carried out, “effective immediately we have suspended all non-immigrant visa services at all US diplomatic facilities in Turkey,” it said.

Non-immigrant visas are issued to all those travelling to the United States for tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work or study. Immigrant visa services are only for those seeking to live in the US permanently.

Turkey responded by suspending all visa services for Americans in the US, saying the measures also apply to visas
issued online and at the border.

In an apparent attempt to mock the US announcement, the Turkish embassy in Washington issued two statements that were almost word-for-word copies of that from the American embassy in Ankara.

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